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Volume 14,Issue 3 Autumn 2012

Backed by the Tianjin Government, Tianjin Airport Develops Rapidly

In order to push forward with the development of the Tianjin Binhai International Airport (Tianjin Airport for short), the Tianjin Municipal People’s Government (Tianjin Government for short) has invested heavily into the project, including financial backing, policy support and other forms of assistance. Since 2007, in order to further boost the development and speed up the opening of the Tianjin Airport and Binhai New Area, as well as to help them seek sound and rapid development, the Tianjin Government has supplied 50 million yuan to Tianjin Airport each year as a special fund in order to cultivate new routes and flights. This special fund also aims to attract airlines, both home and abroad, to seek development opportunities in Tianjin, to boost the morale of the airlines, to encourage airlines to open new scheduled and regular flights and to promote the competitiveness of Tianjin Airport. In regards to newly opened scheduled and regular flights, there are some new key flights that were opened. These flights are temporarily in the red but have development potential. These flights are being fostered by the Tianjin Government’s financial subsidies as well as Tianjin Airport’s fee waiver. In September, 2010, together with the Tianjin Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, the Tianjin Transportation and Port Authority, and the Tianjin Finance Bureau, Tianjin Airport had submitted a report to the Tianjin Government to request that the Tianjin Government would support subsidies to airlines and freight agency businesses that operate customs supervision trucks or truck-airlines at the Tianjin Airport, with similar articles just like that in the Interim Measures of the Use and Management of the Special Fund to Tianjin Newly Opened Flights. This request gained attention and support from the Tianjin Government officials and recently, related officials made instructions to agree that the Tianjin Government should offer the necessary financial subsidies to airlines and freight agency businesses that operate customs supervision trucks. Tianjin Airport is the second largest international airport in Northern China, as well as a domestic trunk airport, an international airport operating scheduled flights, a first class national port and one of China’s main air transportation centers. Tianjin Airport owns a terminal of 116 thousand square meters, and a parking apron of 760 thousand square meters with 29 parking stands. The designed annual passenger throughput volume is 10 million and the designed cargo and mail throughput volume is 600 thousand tons. Its flight area grade has reached 4E which means the airport is able to accommodate the landing and take-off of full-laden large wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747-400 or smaller aircraft. Backed by the Tianjin Government’s financing, airline businesses that operate at Tianjin Airport can enjoy a fee waiver. So Tianjin Airport’s capability of attracting airlines to set up a FBO, to make Tianjin Airport its field and to open scheduled and regular flights, has been greatly increased. Successively, China Cargo Airlines Ltd., Tianjin Airlines Co., Ltd. and other cargo airlines or passenger airlines have already been introduced. Backed by the Tianjin Government’s policy support, Tianjin Airport will develop customs supervision trucks or truck-airlines so it would become a hub-and-spoke airline network, which is an organic integration of full freighters, bellyholds of passenger aircraft and ground trucks, so that the airport is connected to coastal harbors, seaports and other customs warehouses. In addition, Tianjin Airport will increase and expand the amount of regions influenced by the cargo transportation business of Tianjin Airport so that the cargo in the cities that surround Tianjin while have no trans-oceanic or trans-continent flights, could be transported to Tianjin Airport to be collected or distributed, and so that the resources of the current airlines and flight routes can be most effectively utilized. Furthermore, the morale of consignors and freight agent enterprises can be boosted and more airlines would operate their business at Tianjin Airport. Then the cargo transportation of Tianjin Airport could achieve rapid and healthy development and the grand vision of establishing Tianjin Airport as the international air logistics center of Northern China could also be realized. In 2009, the Tianjin Government drafted a written response to approve the Integrated Traffic Hub Collecting and Distributing Program of the Tianjin Binhai International Airport (the Program for short). The areas included in the Program are bounded by the Outer Ring Road in the west, the Tianjin-Tanggu Expressway and the Jishan Expressway in the east, the Jin Han Expressway in the north and the Jinbin Highway in the south. According to the principals of establishing a collection and distribution transport system featuring the separation of passenger and freight and fast ease, it was decided that a collection and distribution transport system made up of interurban-railways, urban rail transit, urban expressways and urban arterial roads will be built. According to the requirements in the Program, related units will accelerate the road construction works, including the Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city Airport Tie-line project, the Tianjin Airport Extension Line project in Line 2 of the Metro, the airport avenue and the Jin Han Expressway. All these projects signify the advantages and competitiveness of Tianjin Airport. All of these measures and policies will promote Tianjin Airport’s air-railway coordinated transport process. Not long ago, the manager of the Marking Department of Tianjin Airport, stated that the operation of shuttle buses between Tianjin Airport and the Tianjin railway station made the combination of the shuttle bus & high-speed railway offer much more convenience for Beijing customers who come to Tianjin for flights. It will take you roughly one hour or so to take the shuttle bus from the Tianjin high-speed railway station to go to Tianjin Airport, and that one hour is also the same amount of time Beijing customers spend in traveling to Beijing Capital International Airport and sometimes the former is a shorter trip than the latter. The brand new combination of aircraft plus shuttle bus plus high-speed railway will create “a second channel” for passengers to Beijing. The most significant meaning of the Program is that it can strengthen the competitiveness of Tianjin Airport, especially the ability to compete for customers. If the articles in the Program are all reached, it will be easier for customers in and around Tianjin to go to Tianjin Airport and that will increase the potential amount of customers who will choose to travel with Tianjin Airport. Zhang Biao, a research assistant from the Institute of Chinese Enterprises Development, considers that this Program will not only be of significant value to Tianjin Airport, but will also promote the airport’s whole economy, because the Program can gather all the passengers and cargo and mail around airports. Ever since the central government carried out its strategy to explore and open up the Binhai New Area, Tianjin’s air transportation industry has stepped into a period of rapid growth. In 2010, the passenger throughput volume and the cargo and mail throughput volume separately was 7.277 million and 202 thousand tons. This means they had achieved an increased rate of 31.3% and 14.6% respectively, compared to 2009. According to statistics, these years, the passenger throughput volume of Tianjin Airport has increased on average by 30% or so every year. It is estimated that by the end of 2011, Tianjin Airport’s passenger throughput capability will reach the limit and will reach 10 million by 2012, which will exceed the designed capability. In the Outline of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” for Tianjin’s Economic and Social Development, it was confirmed that they would carry out the expansion project of Tianjin Airport. And the supporting traffic projects, including the Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city Airport Tie-line, the Tianjin Airport Extension Line in the Metro Line 2, and the Chenglindao Extension Line will all be built to improve the airspace conditions of Tianjin Airport and to further strengthen Tianjin Airport’s ability to function as a hub airport, so that Tianjin Airport can be built as a large portal hub airport and Northern China’s international logistics center. On December, 30th, Tianjin Airport signed a contract with JURONG International Constructors (Suzhou) providing the planning services for the establishment of the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park. This signifies that the planning and construction of the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park has been officially started and Tianjin Airport has taken a significant step towards their vision of becoming the international air logistics center of Northern China. The Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park lies west of the Runway I of the Tianjin Airport, north of the Tianjin-Binhai Highway, east of Tianjin’s Outer Ring Road (the Bypass) and south of Tianjin’s Jin-Han Road. As planned, it will take up an area of 6.4 sq. km, including the parking apron for freight, the cargo station and the express mail center, the freight area which belongs to the Tianjin Airport, the warehousing and logistics extension area and management office area. In accordance to civil aviation’s industrial regulations and the requirements of modern aviation logistics, the functional planning of the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park is divided into two areas, the core operation area and the support service area. The core operation area includes the parking apron for freight, the cargo station and the express mail center. The support service area includes the integrated customs supervision zone, the bonded logistics zone, the simple processing zone, the one-stop service center, the exhibitions and trade center, the conference and business center, the management and business facilities, the energy and support facilities and living ancillary facilities. The planning services in this signed contract is regarding the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park’s core area, which includes the freight apron, the cargo station, the express mail center and the cargo transportation area of the Tianjin Airport. Yan Xin, the general manager of Tianjin Airport pointed out that, to start the planning and designing of the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park would also be the beginning of the implementation the Twelfth Five-year Plan of Tianjin’s Modern Logistics Industry, the implementing of the Deployment Program of the Coordination Team for Promoting Facilitation in the Tianjin Airport Port and also the implementing of the Twelfth Five-year Plan for the Development of the Tianjin Binhai International Airport. According to the signed contract, JURONG International Constructors (Suzhou) will finish the planning services by the end of June, 2012, which can ensure that the Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park can be put into construction in the second half of 2012. Relying on the trunk industries of Tianjin such as aviation & aerospace, petrochemical engineering, equipment manufacturing and electronic information, which are all in close relation to aviation logistics. The Tianjin Airport Air Logistics Park will promote the aviation logistics integration process in both the Binhai New Area and the Bohai Sea Economic Zone.
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